I always start off by going to 'The Monastery Gates' followed by the newest nodes section. I prefer it that way around as although newest nodes contains a lot of information, you have to explore further in order to find out articles that you want to read. The Monastery Gates provides a nice easy interface to ease into the site with, that its easy to skim and see if you want to delve deeper.
in reply to Front-paging nodes without readmore's
In some respects, it might be nice if you had a page which was a mixture of the random node and the newest nodes pages. I guess it would be a sort of a snapshot page, with random entries expanded, giving you a quick view of what kind of discussions are going on today. Just a random thought.